Tuesday, June 19, 2012
On Edith Wharton by Lev Raphael Huff Post
I somehow became linked to posts written by Lev Raphael. In this case it's a good thing because I tend to enjoy Lev's articles.
This one is particularly excellent. It's about Edith Wharton, one of my favorite authors.
(questions)I kept hearing over drinks and dinners was this: when is it Wharton's turn? Yes, there've been some movies of her work, but barely a trickle compared to the Austen flood.
Nobody's expecting Wharton to ever be as popular as Jane Austen, with all the attendant websites and tchotchkes. After all, Wharton had a much more jaundiced view of life than Austen did, and she's unlikely to be hijacked as a writer of romances, the way Austen has been.
I'm a huge Edith Wharton fan. I've read her work more than once, and I still go back and read it when nothing else looks particularly interesting. If anything, I'm not too big on Jane Austen, and I think Edith Whatron has always been highly under-recognized when compared to Austen.
I'm especially fond of Ethan Frome.
From the wiki link above:
Ethan Frome is set in a fictional New England town named Starkfield, where an unnamed narrator tells the story of his encounter with Ethan Frome, a man with dreams and desires that end in an ironic turn of events. The narrator tells the story based on an account from observations at Frome's house when he had to stay there during a winter storm.
The novel is framed by the literary device of an extended flashback. The first chapter opens with an unnamed narrator who, while spending a winter in Starkfield, sets out to learn about the life of a mysterious local figure named Ethan Frome, a man who had been injured in a horrific “smash-up” twenty-four years before. Frome is described as “the most striking figure in Starkfield”, “the ruin of a man” with a “careless powerful look…in spite of a lameness checking each step like the jerk of a chain”.
If you haven't read Wharton, you might want to check her out. The writing style is absolute magic, and you'll see it's so different from the way fiction is written today.
The photo above is Edith Wharton and her home in Lenox, MA. Here's a link to Galleycat to read more.